"Cell Shaped" Structure Found in Mars Meteorite

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posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 12:44 PM
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Scientist have found a cell shaped structure that is the right size and Shape of a eukaryotic cell. It even looks like it has a nucleus and other organelles present in eukaryotic cells. But they say it is more likely that the structure formed from abiotic processes. You can judge for you self.

Abstract from study:




A conspicuous biomorphic ovoid structure has been discovered in the Nakhla martian meteorite, made of nanocrystalline iron-rich saponitic clay and amorphous material. The ovoid is indigenous to Nakhla and occurs within a late-formed amorphous mesostasis region of rhyolitic composition that is interstitial to two clinopyroxene grains with Al-rich rims, and contains acicular apatite crystals, olivine, sulfides, Ti-rich magnetite, and a new mineral of the rhoenite group. To infer the origin of the ovoid, a large set of analytical tools was employed, including scanning electron microscopy and backscattered electron imaging, wavelength-dispersive X-ray analysis, X-ray mapping, Raman spectroscopy, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry analysis, high-resolution transmission electron microscope imaging, and atomic force microscope topographic mapping. The concentric wall of the ovoid surrounds an originally hollow volume and exhibits internal layering of contrasting nanotextures but uniform chemical composition, and likely inherited its overall shape from a preexisting vesicle in the mesostasis glass. A final fibrous layer of Fe-rich phases blankets the interior surfaces of the ovoid wall structure. There is evidence that the parent rock of Nakhla has undergone a shock event from a nearby bolide impact that melted the rims of pyroxene and the interstitial matter and initiated an igneous hydrothermal system of rapidly cooling fluids, which were progressively mixed with fluids from the melted permafrost. Sharp temperature gradients were responsible for the crystallization of Al-rich clinopyroxene rims, rhoenite, acicular apatites, and the quenching of the mesostasis glass and the vesicle. During the formation of the ovoid structure, episodic fluid infiltration events resulted in the precipitation of saponite rinds around the vesicle walls, altered pyrrhotite to marcasite, and then isolated the ovoid wall structure from the rest of the system by depositing a layer of iron oxides/hydroxides. Carbonates, halite, and sulfates were deposited last within interstitial spaces and along fractures. Among three plausible competing hypotheses here, this particular abiotic scenario is considered to be the most reasonable explanation for the formation of the ovoid structure in Nakhla, and although compelling evidence for a biotic origin is lacking, it is evident that the martian subsurface contains niche environments where life could develop.


Photos:





Now again the study states that this was formed by abiotic processes but is evidence


of subsurface Niche environments where life could develop
. We are getting closer.


Sorry I forgot the link to the study:
online.liebertpub.com...
edit on 21-8-2014 by BGTM90 because: (no reason given)


Info on the Meteorite:



Nakhla is a famous martian meteorite fallen in Egypt in 1911. It was the first meteorite reported from Egypt, the first one to suggest signs of aqueous processes on Mars, and the prototype for Nakhlite type of meteorites.


en.wikipedia.org...

Picture:
edit on 21-8-2014 by BGTM90 because: (no reason given)
edit on 21-8-2014 by BGTM90 because: (no reason given)
edit on 21-8-2014 by BGTM90 because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 12:50 PM
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a reply to: BGTM90

Would be interested in hearing from Jim Oberg, JadeStar, and others who have 'connections' within the space community on this. To me it looks like just a squished up rock, but then the spice is in the squish.



posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 01:10 PM
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a reply to: BGTM90

Yea!
There's no way this could be a bubble caused by the heat of entry into our atmosphere acting upon any gasses which may have been present.
It's not every day you find a Martian rock in Egypt.



posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 01:27 PM
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Heck, I'm of the opinion that the first test for Mars life was a positive with the Viking lander in the 70's... the meteorite in the 90's was more proof and then this... I get being careful and sure, but really, it isn't a big surprise.

Life, filthy, squirmy, excreting life is most everywhere... at least I'd be willing to bet that it is in far more places in the cosmos than common ideas dictate.



posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 02:12 PM
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a reply to: Baddogma

I agree. I have been ridiculed on this site for jumping to conclusions about life on mars on this site. And rightfully so. Just because you find something from mars that looks like a cell or micro tubes that resemble burrows created by bacteria here on earth or spherical deposits that looks like excretions deposited by certain microbes does not necessarily mean that there was life there but Like I said the evidence is starting adding up.



posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 02:18 PM
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I agree as well. Micro organism life on Mars is not just likely but IMHO- very likely through cross contamination. Each day we see microbes thriving in the most unlikely place. Just recently on ATS, there are microbes around the ISS



posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 03:15 PM
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a reply to: BGTM90

They already determined this rock had fossilized life and bacteria.


ALH84001

news.bbc.co.uk...

The only contention is whether it was contamination from Earth.

I don't see how that is possible, being that it is fossilized and deep inside the rock.



posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 03:20 PM
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a reply to: Baddogma

Yes, chemical tests in the 70's did confirm life.

It only takes a few 'official' scientist not to agree to put anything into contention.



posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 05:20 PM
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originally posted by: Aleister
a reply to: BGTM90

Would be interested in hearing from Jim Oberg, JadeStar, and others who have 'connections' within the space community on this. To me it looks like just a squished up rock, but then the spice is in the squish.



I am highly skeptical of this. The main criticism I'd have is that as we saw with ALH84001 aka "The Mars Meteorite", morphology alone, or the shape of structures which resemble fossilized organisms or cells is not enough to get too excited over.

It's almost the scientific equivalent of looking at Mars rocks and finding "anomalies".

Morphology alone cannot be used unambiguously as a tool for primitive life detection.

Its interesting and worth further study though.

The main thing people should takeaway is that the burden of proof for life beyond Earth is so high that one simple thing like the morphology of this or any other structure alone won't establish it on its own but if there are other interesting things which add up to "too many coincidences" then it will be big news.

For now it is something those of us in the field of astrobiology will keep an eye on but I wouldn't jump for joy just yet.

edit on 21-8-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 05:22 PM
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originally posted by: nOraKat
a reply to: BGTM90

They already determined this rock had fossilized life and bacteria.


ALH84001

news.bbc.co.uk...

The only contention is whether it was contamination from Earth.

I don't see how that is possible, being that it is fossilized and deep inside the rock.





That wasn't the only contention and it was never established that that was due to life at all.



posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 05:44 PM
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a reply to: JadeStar

JadeStar what are your thought on the Viking lander test that used radio-carbon to test for life? Where the results flawed? experiment it self flawed? Do you know of any scientific papers that disprove the experiment I can look at? I know that this is not proof of life as I stated in the op I just thought it was neat find worth looking at.



posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 05:57 PM
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More on the story the OP posted


In the article, “A Conspicuous Clay Ovoid in Nakhla: Evidence for Subsurface Hydrothermal Alteration on Mars with Implications for Astrobiology,” Elias Chatzitheodoridis, National Technical University of Athens, Greece, and Sarah Haigh and Ian Lyon, the University of Manchester, UK, describe the use of tools including electron microscopy, x-ray, and spectroscopy to analyze the ovoid structure. While the authors do not believe the formation of this structure involved biological materials, that is a possible hypothesis, and they note that evidence exists supporting the presence of niche environments in the Martian subsurface that could support life. - See more at: www.astrobio.net...



posted on Aug, 21 2014 @ 06:04 PM
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originally posted by: BGTM90
a reply to: JadeStar

JadeStar what are your thought on the Viking lander test that used radio-carbon to test for life? Where the results flawed? experiment it self flawed? Do you know of any scientific papers that disprove the experiment I can look at? I know that this is not proof of life as I stated in the op I just thought it was neat find worth looking at.


Sure. You mean the labelled release experiment right?

The test itself was not flawed however there may have been contamination from Earth which lead to the anomalous result which seemed to indicate life. When the same test was done a week later it didn't find anything.

Uf we were to look for life again we are planning to do on the Mars 2020 rover we'd do it differently.

As for papers which disprove the experiment, what you're more likely to find are ones which state it is inconclusive.

We could start with Levin's original 1976 paper:

Levin, G. V.; Straat, P. A. (1976). "Viking Labeled Release Biology Experiment: Interim Results". Science 194 (4271): 1322–1329. Bibcode:1976Sci...194.1322L. doi:10.1126/science.194.4271.1322. PMID 17797094.

And add to that the general consensus that Viking did not discover life on Mars however it those experiments were valuable because it showed us how to look for life with next-gen spacecraft and what to do and not do in the process.

So you could say, like their name sake, the Vikings were pioneers.

edit on 21-8-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 01:30 AM
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originally posted by: nOraKat
a reply to: BGTM90

They already determined this rock had fossilized life and bacteria.


ALH84001

news.bbc.co.uk...

The only contention is whether it was contamination from Earth.

I don't see how that is possible, being that it is fossilized and deep inside the rock.




False. Some think it's life, others think it's not. This is a link 8 years after yours. The evidence in your link has mostly been whittled away. Either way, this would be evidence of life on Mars 4 billion years ago, not today.

A few years later, Swindle tried to do the poll again but couldn’t get enough respondents to form a representative sample. He thinks most people had made up their mind that ALH84001 did not carry biosignatures from Mars. But that doesn’t mean that sifting through the meteorite hasn’t been worth it. - See more at: www.astrobio.net...

www.astrobio.net...
edit on 23-8-2014 by OccamsRazor04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 01:32 AM
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originally posted by: nOraKat
a reply to: Baddogma

Yes, chemical tests in the 70's did confirm life.

It only takes a few 'official' scientist not to agree to put anything into contention.


Actually almost every scientist thinks the test did NOT find life (meaning life is not the most plausible explanation). There are other explanations for the results, and the secondary test found no evidence for life.



posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 03:04 AM
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a reply to: nOraKat

That reminded me of an interview with NASA's David McKay at a 2010 Astrobiology conference. With respect to his team's 1996 work on the ALH84001 meteorite, and discovery of microbial fossils:

"All the criticisms of our original paper got widely distributed, but when we did the work to prove the critics were wrong, it hardly made a ripple,"
Washington Post

That seems to be the standard operating procedure these days:
1. Make a bold claim.
2. Endure harsh criticism.
3. Answer those criticisms.
4. Be ignored...



Dex



posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 03:20 AM
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originally posted by: DexterRiley
a reply to: nOraKat

That reminded me of an interview with NASA's David McKay at a 2010 Astrobiology conference. With respect to his team's 1996 work on the ALH84001 meteorite, and discovery of microbial fossils:

"All the criticisms of our original paper got widely distributed, but when we did the work to prove the critics were wrong, it hardly made a ripple,"
Washington Post

That seems to be the standard operating procedure these days:
1. Make a bold claim.
2. Endure harsh criticism.
3. Answer those criticisms.
4. Be ignored...



Dex



Except they did not do what they claimed. They did not really rebut the criticism. They attempted to rebut ONE criticism. Their new evidence is the magnetite is too pure to be natural. As far as no one caring, my link earlier directly addressed this. The reason no one is really caring is this ...

Very pure magnetite not found on Earth .. Therefore Mars can't either. It's a logical fallacy.
Here is a supporter of theirs ...

It’s improbable that Martian microbes deposited magnetite grains directly in the rock, so Thomas-Keprta and her colleagues have to argue that the magnetite formed outside of the rock and washed in. They also have to assume that Mars had a much stronger magnetic field in the past so that building an intracellular magnetic compass would be an advantage. - See more at: www.astrobio.net...



posted on Aug, 24 2014 @ 12:00 AM
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a reply to: OccamsRazor04




Except they did not do what they claimed. They did not really rebut the criticism. They attempted to rebut ONE criticism. Their new evidence is the magnetite is too pure to be natural. As far as no one caring, my link earlier directly addressed this. The reason no one is really caring is this ...

Very pure magnetite not found on Earth .. Therefore Mars can't either. It's a logical fallacy.


I must admit that I never read the original paper. Or, until now, have I looked at their rebuttal. And I'm in the middle of a time-sensitive project, so I don't have time to do any in-depth research.

However, this article from Astro Biology Magazine: Biosignature in Martian Meteorite, Allan Hills, written in 2002, provides ample evidence that the Magnetite was formed from biological process. That is, if we accept the Terrestrial paradigm of magnetite formation.

The researchers used six physical properties they refer to as the Magnetite Assay for Biogenicity (MAB) to compare all the magnetic material found in the ancient meteorite — using the MAB as a biosignature. A biosignature is a physical and/or chemical marker of life that does not occur through random processes or human intervention.

"No non-biologic magnetite population, whether produced by nature or in the laboratory, has ever met the MAB criteria," said Kathie Thomas-Keprta, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston and the lead researcher on the study. "This means that one-quarter of the magnetite crystals embedded in the carbonates in Martian meteorite ALH84001 require the intervention of biology to explain their presence."

- See more at: www.astrobio.net...


The quote you added, from 2010, from the article in NASA's Astrobiology Magazine: The Continuing Controversy of the Mars Meteorite was from Allan Treiman of the Lunar and Planetary Institute. He is one of the more vocal critics of McKay, et al.

It’s improbable that Martian microbes deposited magnetite grains directly in the rock, so Thomas-Keprta and her colleagues have to argue that the magnetite formed outside of the rock and washed in...


Maybe I missed something here. The "Martian Meteorite" team says that the rock, specifically the carbonate globules, contain both the fossilized nano-bacteria and the very pure magnetite. The magnetite crystals are internal to the magnetotactic bacteria, so a chain of magnetite crystals would be expected to remain after the decomposition of non-fossilized bacteria. In other words, both the fossil and magnetite crystal chain were found co-resident in the carbonate.


They also have to assume that Mars had a much stronger magnetic field in the past so that building an intracellular magnetic compass would be an advantage.


It's generally accepted now that Mars had a much stronger magnetic field in the past. From the 2002 article:

The fact that Mars Global Surveyor data suggest that early Mars had a magnetic field is consistent with a reason why Mars would have magnetotactic bacteria. "Our best working hypothesis is that early Mars supported the evolution of bacteria that share several traits with magnetotactic bacteria on Earth, most notably the MV-1 group," said Simon Clemett, a coauthor of the paper at Johnson. - See more at: www.astrobio.net...



Treiman and others argue that the magnetite could be explained more easily with some sort of shock event that heated the carbonate enough to allow magnetite grains to form. Thomas-Keprta says these abiotic models are fatally flawed. The problem is in the cooling time. If the rock cools too fast, the magnetite ends up full of impurities. Too slow and the surrounding carbonate becomes too uniform.

- See more at: www.astrobio.net...


So, the alternative theory is that "some sort of shock event" heated the magnetite precursors to exactly the right temperature, and the magnetite cooled at exactly the right rate to produce these ultra-pure magnetite grains. And ultra-pure magnetite of this order can not even be reproduced in our most sophisticated laboratories. So, in other words, some magic event happened somehow. That is even less probable than fossilized Martian nano-bacteria.

I find it odd that the 2010 article, from which you quoted, was still presenting arguments that had already been rebutted 8 years earlier.




Dex



posted on Aug, 24 2014 @ 12:17 AM
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a reply to: DexterRiley

No. What it boils down to is we don't find magnetite of this purity on Earth, so it can not exist anywhere else in the universe.

Could it be from ancient Martian life? Yep. Does it HAVE to be? Nope. The only way you can claim it has to be is if you claim since it does not happen on Earth it must not happen anywhere.

So is it interesting? Yep. Is it something to points to possible life? Yep. Is it proof that it IS life? Nope.



posted on Aug, 24 2014 @ 12:40 AM
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IMHO we'll send a probe to Mars and test for life in < 25 years and won't find it, disappointing many hopefuls and also resulting in a very rushed program of shoddy and limited Mars colonization, alongside some moon habitats. None of which will be very successful. Early interests will be spent on earth orbiting space stations and new forms of radiation shielding.

In fact, we'll not ever find life on Mars, living or fossilized. We'll not find any life elsewhere in our solar system either. We'll scramble to find life for the next 7500 years and not find it.

Finally, we'll find it elsewhere, on a random planet far from its sun which somehow miraculously defied todays erroneous expectations.

We'll also find living iotam in clouds of interstellar gas. Unfortunately, they never made the leap across the cosmic spaces to seed the planets.

Origon of life will be more random than currently believed and hard to find.

We'll be very busy planting the seeds of life all across our galaxy, as well as engineering synthetic lifeforms and getting involved in brutal interstellar warfare. Long stretches of time go by. Then THEY come and vaporize us and our galaxy, before warping out and consuming our universe in their reactor; hardly noticing anything special just happened, yet pleased.
edit on 24-8-2014 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)





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